Investigation of flow phenomena in a kettle reboiler

David A. McNeil, Khalid Bamardouf, Bryce M. Burnside, Mohammed Almeshaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Two-phase flow phenomena were investigated while boiling R113 and n-pentane in a 241-tube thin slice kettle reboiler. For heat fluxes between 10 and 40 kW/m2, row pressure drop measurements were made in three columns and visual observations of the flow patterns were recorded by a video camera. The height of the two-phase mixture above the tube bundle was also varied. The results revealed that the height of the mixture had little effect on the row pressure drop distribution in each column. At heat fluxes below 10 kW/m2, the pressure drops were reasonably constant. However, at heat fluxes greater than this, the row pressure drop continuously declined. Two one-point-five-dimensional models were developed, one to aid the investigation of static liquid driven lateral flow in the tube bundle, and another to aid the investigation of the cause of the change from reasonably constant to continually declining row pressure drop. The data and the analysis showed that the flow within the tube bundle was always two-dimensional and that the flow pattern was dominated by the static liquid at the tube bundle edge when the heat flux was less than 10 kW/m2. This corresponded to the bubbly flow regime. At larger heat fluxes, the flow pattern changed to intermittent flow. The change occurred when the Kutateladze number was 1.09. Declining row pressure drops occurred in this latter flow regime. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-848
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Boiling
  • Flow pattern
  • Pressure drop
  • Transition


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